Orquesta Akokán with Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

June 23, 2024

About Orquesta Akokán

Set for release on Daptone Records, Caracoles brings Orquesta Akokán’s unique mambo into the 21st century with their signature akokán—a Cuban Yoruba term meaning “from the heart.” Producer and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Plasse and pianist/composer Michael Eckroth lead this venture, collaborating with Cuban lyricist Kiko Ruiz. Ruiz, a renowned musician, infuses the album with rich Cuban influences, continuing the group's exploration of sublime mambo.

Orquesta Akokán’s 2018 debut celebrated Cuba’s golden grooves, while 2021’s 16 Rayos innovated with diverse rhythms and styles, earning critical acclaim, awards, and a GRAMMY nomination. Caracoles, their third album, returns to the iconic mid-20th-century grooves of Benny Moré, Perez Prado, and Machito. Recorded in Cuba’s Abdala Producciones studios, it captures the musicians playing live, creating a richly textured, danceable sound with

driving horns and advanced bebop solos reminiscent of Charlie Parker.

While rooted in classic mambo, Caracoles is unmistakably contemporary, with its 10 original tracks blending traditional instrumentation with modern sensibilities. Ruiz, a tata (priest), enriches his lyrics with Palo Mayombe spirituality, linking the music to its deeper, prayerful origins. This album elevates the spirit, with songs that serve as both vibrant dance tracks and spiritual invocations.

Ruiz believes the album’s grooves can “vibrate your soul,” offering an irresistible invitation to dance and reflect. The title song, “Cucha mambo que yo emboa montero...este mambo es pa’ ti,” translates to “Listen to this story, I bring it to you as a traveling song...This mambo is for you,” encapsulating the album's profound and joyous essence.

About Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Jon Cleary was born in London in 1962… not the first line you expect in a bio about a New Orleans piano great, is it?  Not only that, but he’s a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, arranger, and producer, as well. Guitar was his first love, starting in England at age 5, moving on to performing at 11, and graduating to work as a musician at 14. At age 16 he formed ‘Delta Wing’ with renowned blues slide guitarist Roger Hubbard (of whom Muddy Waters said in 1972:  'Roger Hubbard is as good as any blues guitarist in the UK or the United States’.)  This would be the first of his many brushes with greatness.

Policies

Please note that NO outside food or beverages are allowed in the venue.

Amphitheatre Policies

Concerts are held rain or shine.

No outside food or picnics allowed in the venue. 

Factory sealed water bottles or empty bottles only. No outside beverages, glass containers or alcohol allowed. Beer, wine, soft drinks, bottled water, lemonade and iced tea are for sale inside the venue.

Lawn chairs with legs are not allowed - visit our website for details on types that are permitted.

Designated service animals only.

The Arvada Center is a non-smoking facility, which includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaporizers and pipes.

Read the full list of Amphitheatre Policies at the link below!

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